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[Academy RP] Mountain of Industry

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Montagna Nera was the origin of the nation’s modern industrial history. Its tall rocky faces smiled down on the mining town of Hizito, their gray-black colour nodding to their contents. Hizito wasn’t a large town, only populated by some 22,000 people, but the entire population relied on the resources of Montagna Nera. From stone used to construct homes to its carbon rich anthracite which provided jobs and warmth during the cold season. Some 30% of the population required the work that mining the mountain provided to make a living, and for as long as the mountain provided, there would be a new generation of miners to keep the work going to keep Hizito on its feet.

Mining operations were led by the Tchaikovsky-Perella Excavation Company, after the demand for anthracite grew high enough to justify the cost of setting up a mining operation inside of Montagna Nera. The early excavation efforts of 1885 were slowed by the dense rock at the base of the mountain, only the occasional appearance of surface anthracite deposits kept the company interested in the possible larger deposits deeper in. It took a month for the first shaft to be opened, and another week before it was deemed safe by the National Labour Board for large scale operations. In its first week of operation, the main shaft, nicknamed the “Black Artery”, produced four tons of anthracite which was above the predicted 3.2 ton output that the TPE Company had planned for. It was during this time that Hizito began to grow in size and population, the jobs provided by the new mining operations incentivizing people to settle down in the alpine town.

Working in the main artery came with both risks and benefits. Because of the location of the mine being above water level, pumping wasn’t required, however support beams had to be installed in very small intervals due to feared cave-in’s. Additionally, the mine was poorly ventilated for its first years of operation, leading to operations being slowed due to fear of fires from dust kicked up during mining, alongside the respiratory issues associated with the lack of clean air. Even by 1887 when the ventilation system was completed, fears continued to linger over the safety of the mine. The only major incident that the mine ever suffered was in 1948 when old support beams in section C began to give way. Due to quick thinking of the miners, a complete collapse was prevented by attaching spare beam cuts to the top of a coal shuttle and jamming it under the failing beam. This allowed for the evacuation of the main shaft before its inevitable collapse an hour later.

As of today, the “Black Artery” acts now as the main logistics hub within Montagna Nera, new shafts driving both vertically and horizontally into the black Eurth below and around the old shaft. Of course, the story of Montagna Nera is a microcosm of the rockier portions of the northern part of Renolion, and of the coal industry in general.

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